They Would Not Be Baptized – Mosiah 26:4-6

4 And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God.
5 And now in the reign of Mosiah they were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.
6 For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.

Mormon’s description of this group of young people emphasizes their agency. They intentionally refused to do the things which would have enabled them to access the grace of God and overcome their natural, sinful state. They refused to pray and to participate in the ordinances of the gospel, which would have brought the power of God into their lives. They also actively worked to convince members of the church to join them in their sinful state. According to Mormon, contention among the members of the church also contributed to a weakening of the church.
Note that Satan didn’t make a direct assault on these people’s faith. By merely convincing the young people not to pray or to be baptized, he effectively shielded them from the power of God which they would have experienced if they had been humble enough to participate in these activities. By causing conflict among the members of the church or convincing them to commit sins, he effectively cut them off from the gift of the Holy Ghost, halting their progress along the gospel path.
Today, I will avoid these kinds of temptations. I will participate in activities, including prayer, which invite the power of God into my life. I will avoid contention so that I can enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
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